Thursday, 22 August 2013

I Believe We Have A Winner

Before I get started on this weeks training (session 8) I have some really great news, well to be honest I have known for a couple of weeks but wanted to wait for the confirmation before announcing to the world.........drum roll please.....
I have won 2 places in the 5k Color Run at Brighton on the 14th September 2013.

This all came about because at the beginning of my training sessions, Mark said that it would be a good idea to enter for a race, this he said would keep me focused on my running.........well I did sign up for Park Run but that didn't really count in his book because I could go along any weekend so there was no real pressure. I was a bit scared to say the least at the idea of commiting to a dead line. Then one day back in July I was on the Womens Running UK website and saw a competition for 2 places in the Color Run. Yep you guessed I entered and won, and of course it will be Mark running with me. Now although this is a 5k run it isn't timed and the main idea is to have fun not try to beat your personal best, so all in all I think this is an excellent place for me to start (insert big grin)

With the Color Run now to focus on I was even more determined to do well this week with my training, I had also booked the week off of work fully intending to get all those niggling jobs done, you know all those things around the house that get pushed to the end of the "To Do list" because of work or late nights. I also fully intended to get some use out of my new gym membership. 

Well my timing couldn't have been more 'Off' the gym is CLOSED for 2 weeks for a complete refit, all new equipment is being installed Doh! not to be outdone, I went for a nice 4 mile steady paced walk with my sister on Tuesday,
Aqua Zumba on Wednesday and then running with Mark on Thurday night.

Training Session 8 (oops I seem to of run out of Dino pictures)
I wore my Brooks Puredrift, these are really an amazing pair of shoes and I promise I will get around to writing a full review one of these days.
We did our 5k through the woods and along the train track route, which really is pleasant, the evening was cooler and it had rained quite a lot during the day so the air was fresh and it felt easier to breathe, I am not sure if it was because of the exciting news (could also be read as panic) about the Color Run, the nice fresh air or the fact that I was feeling pretty stressed out over my dog being ill, but I just wanted to really push myself, I 'needed' to run. So run I did, then walked just long enough to catch my breath and then ran again as many times as I could, just random times not counting minutes or seconds just running till I couldn't run anymore, it felt wonderful. Before I even really noticed Mark was saying we had got to our half way point and we needed to turn around and head for home, so we chatted and ran and just for a few moments while we ran through the woods with the light of the day starting to fade, I felt free and at peace with the world, If this is how running can feel then I never want to give it up. As we approached our finishing point Mark was pushing me pretty hard to pick up the pace and bits like through the station car park that we would normally walk, he was egging me on to run. At the time I didn't know why he was in such a hurry, but all was soon revealed when he announced that we had finished our 5k and I had a new personal best time of......*another drum roll please*..........49 minutes and 41 seconds Yeeehaa!
Now I know this isn't exactly super speedy for some runners, but for me this is a major mile stone, I knew that I needed to get below 50 minutes for 5k so that I could enter at Park Run. Eight weeks ago I was doing 5k in 1 hour 11 mins.
Am I pleased............You bet your life, I am over the moon

Till the next time............

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

A Real Pain In The Butt

The title of this post is sadly very accurate, I have really been in quite a lot of pain since a trip to the health suite last Wednesday. You see I had a bit of a problem last December with Piriformis Syndrome  For me the worst thing for causing pain was sitting on any hard surface. I had several months of physiotherapy and acupuncture to release the nerve, which along with aqua aerobics did a great job. However at the health suite I had a nice steam and then went in the whirlpool, that was my big mistake, I played the jets along my lower back and legs thinking this would give it a nice massage. I was wrong, what it did was inflame my muscles and trap a nerve again, by the time I got out of the pool I knew I was in trouble. 

Well long story cut short, I have had to do extra physio exercises and take a lot of anti inflammatory drugs and use an amazing freezing gel called 
Polar Frost  Thanks to a combination of all of these things I am now pretty good.

On the plus side I got a call from Sweatshop to say my Brooks Puredrift had arrived, I was really pleased with their collect in store service and the fact that this also gave me a chance to have a quick run on their treadmill to test the shoes out, all felt good even considering my nerve pain.

Training session 7 became more of a walk and talk session, because although I was not really in much pain while walking or even running slowly, it didn't seem like such a smart idea to push my luck. It was very nice though to go out with Mark and just have the time to chat about running and what gear is good etc. It was also good to take my new Brooks out for a spin, they did very well. We went 5.7 miles in 1 hour 54 mins so nothing too speedy, I did a couple of slow runs just to try out the shoes, but I will do a proper post about them when I have had a chance to really try them out.

Till the next time.................................

Sunday, 11 August 2013

A Bit Of A Catch Up

Well I seem to have fallen behind a little with posting to my blog so this will have to serve as a bit of a catch up.

I have had two training sessions with Mark since the race for life, session 5 we did our usual 5k run/walk I ran in a pair of Nike lunarlon trainers that I picked up reasonably cheap in a TK Maxx store, they are not zero drop, but are a good transistion shoe till I get my new Brooks Puredrift which is what I was told would suit my running style by the guys at Sweatshop. We completed our run/walk in 52.5 mins which is my fastest time so far, the shoes gave me some well needed cushioning for pavements and I didn't have any shin pain at all very pleased with that

Session 6 with Mark went pretty good, I again ran in the Nike lunarlon, and although the time was a little slower 54 mins 45 seconds for 5k this as usual includes the time that Mark spends teaching me exercises or ways to improve my form etc. so all in all pretty pleased. I also found that my breathing was much better I think because it was a cooler evening and I was concentrating on breathing through my mouth and not trying to breathe through my nose.

Up until now pretty much all of my running has been in the sessions with Mark, 
mainly due to me being a bit of a coward at not wanting to run around in woods and fields on my own, but I have been doing some other exercise in the form of Aqua Aerobics and Aqua Zumba, I also have a bike/elliptical cross trainer at home. Which until recently, like a lot of home gym equipment has spent a good deal of time as a clothes horse. I knew that if I wanted to get better at running there is really only one way to do that, you guessed it I needed to get off of my butt and actually run, so I decided that now was as good a time as any to go and join the gym at least then I would save the money on my aqua classes and be able to use the treadmill to clock up a few exta miles. And interestingly as I am a Slimming World member I got 20% discount on my membership fees and I donated a pair of old trainers, which got me my first two weeks free....what a bonus.

My first session at the gym went well, I decided that I would use my ipod with the podcasts for the couch to 5k plan. This way I knew that there would be some structure to my session. Apart from at my gait analysis I haven't used a treadmill in a few years so thought it would also be good to start the plan again from the beginning with session 1 run for 1 min, brisk walk for 90 seconds.
I walked at 5.3 - 5.6 pace and then increased to 6.2 for the runs this was steady but not too fast and I could breathe pretty normally throughout, the minute flew by with relative ease, before I knew it podcast one was over. Feeling pretty good and not wanting to finish my session I continued and did podcast two which was 90 seconds running, 2 mins walking, I did three sets and that brought me up to 5k distance so I called it a day it had taken 55.5 mins so I felt pleased that it hadn't taken much longer than when I was running with Mark so made it feel like a "Real" session. 

Really looking forward to my next session and getting my Brooks Puredrift.
Till the next time................................